Advice From a 5-000 Year Old Pharaoh
"You arrogant, egotistical, self-obsessed, overconfident, overbearing, cocky excuse for a man…"
Each precisely enunciated, and very scathing, word echoed off the lockers and reverberated through the hallways of Domino High. Two participants, one male and one female, stood across the hallway from each other. With her hands fisted at her sides, and shaking with rage, she glared at the guy standing five feet away from her. With his arms crossed over his chest, wrinkling the pristine white shirt that was part of his school uniform, his eyes revealed none of the emotions that were currently flooding his system. His one weapon in the epic struggle that was taking place. If she couldn't read how he was feeling, she would have no way to attack him.
How wrong he was.
The debacle he was currently in had all started out innocently enough. The final bell ending classes for the day had rung half an hour before and the student body had raucously filed out after gathering all homework necessities from their lockers. She had stayed behind to practice in the empty gym, the booming baseline of her music creating a dull thudding throughout the rest of the school. He had stayed behind for two reasons; the first being to avoid the crowding of the hallways as the lowly peons rushed out to do whatever it was they did after classes were over.
"… I would like to know what God-given right states that you can just walk up to me and command me to do anything…"
After finishing her dance practice in the gym, she'd promptly headed for her locker to gather her books and jacket. The weather had turned a little chilly in the last couple of days and it was better to be safe than sorry, he'd overheard her say to herself as she shut the locker door with a bang. Turning around, the surprise on her face had been easy to read. She hadn't been expecting anyone to be there, waiting for her.
Especially not him.
That was the other reason he had been so tardy in leaving and that was why he was currently enduring the sharper edge of her tongue. He thought everything had been worked out perfectly. No one else had been around to witness what he'd had to do. Just the way he'd wanted it. Or so he thought.
"… I'm not one of your lackeys, ready to jump when you say 'Frog' nor am I one of your fan girls, sighing, batting their eyelashes and gawking like lovesick puppy dogs at your obnoxious presence in this school. After everything we've been through, you should know me better than that…"
The tirade of her well-chosen words continued unabated in the wake of what he'd done. And, he had to admit, her vocabulary was quite extensive. He should have known better. Should have done more planning instead of acting so rashly. Her fire was something he hadn't taken into account when he'd come up with the idea. Now he was paying for his impetuous decision. He should have remembered that she had a will of her own, that it was almost as strong as his own was, and she wasn't afraid to use it. She'd proven it to him too many times before. In fact, that was one of the things he admired most about her. Not liked, but admired. From the moment she'd stepped forward and questioned him atop the tower during Duellist Kingdom to the argument they'd had in the virtual realm about 'family business', she'd been in his face.
"Should I be flattered that you chose me instead of one of the girls that worship the ground you walk on? Should I be squealing for joy that the great Seto Kaiba has come down from Heaven to speak to lowly me? Get real and get a clue…"
This was definitely not the scenario he'd envisioned in his mind. Nowhere close, even. As her words echoed through the empty hallways, he allowed himself a small grimace. How and when had everything gone so horribly wrong?
She'd been startled to find him waiting for her when she'd shut her locker door but a bright smile had graced her delicate features as her blue eyes had peered up at him, questioning his sudden appearance.
"Kaiba, hi! What are you still doing here? Thought you'd be at your office by now." A small tremor had rippled through him, as her words seemed to caress some small part of his mind. She always was the one that was nice to him. Even when she was being a tad bit on the bitchy side, at least she let him know how she really felt.
The words had hung in the air between them for a moment as he'd thought about what he'd needed to say to her. That had been his last chance to back out of everything with his pride, confidence and ego intact. He hadn't realized how much he was depending upon her willingness to extend the olive branch of friendship to him.
"Kaiba? You okay?" Her hand waving in front of his face brought him out of his self-induced reverie and a feeling of… something… flashed through him at the look of concern in her eyes.
"… and the offer of "monetary compensation" is supposed to what? Placate me into accepting the fact that you just commanded me to… ooooooooooo that is some nerve you have SETO KAIBA…"
Steeling himself, more to 'buck up' his own courage than anything else, he'd glanced down at her and moved a single step closer to her. His mouth was dry. His palms were sweaty. She had to accept his proposal or else he was doomed to eternal humiliation and embarrassment at the hands of Siegfried von Schroeder.
The invitation had arrived three weeks before and Seto had kept putting it off, 'it' being the finding of a suitable companion. To be honest, it had actually slipped his mind completely. Too many other things vied for his attention. Primarily, his little brother Mokuba was noticing girls as something more than just classmates. Second, testing had entered Phase 2 for his new Duel Disk System. Third, the contract for another Kaiba Land was in full negotiations. Finally, exams, assignments and projects took up the rest of his precious free time.
It had been his secretary who'd brought the invitation back to the forefront of his attention. That was when the tension headaches had started. Von Schroeder had forced his hand into finding someone suitable to accompany him to his annoying get-together with one, single line.
Seto Kaiba and guest.
Even after the disaster von Schroeder had turned his KaibaCorp. Grand Tournament into, there was no way he was going to lose face in front of that smug, pink-haired, power-hungry freak. Seto had dismissed the notion of an escort service immediately. Any girl he'd taken from one of 'those' places would have been too busy schmoozing some rich, old geezer to pay proper attention and respect to him. Not to mention, von Schroeder would have seen through that ploy. No, he needed someone else. Someone who could be charming, endearing, sincere and friendly.
Besides, Mazaki was the best-looking, least-annoying girl he knew.
"…I can't believe that you would just expect me to drop everything and go with you to some stupid party! You think I don't have a life? That I'll come running at your beck and call? Drop dead, Kaiba!..."
Maybe today hadn't been the best day to approach her on. She'd been acting strangely ever since English in first period. A fit of giggles had overtaken her and it was the threat of detention for a week that had finally deterred her bizarre antics. She wasn't in his second period class, Business Economics, but he'd seen her dash through the hallways to the bathroom before lunch, red-faced with tears streaking her cheeks. Her little friends had stood outside the doorway, almost guarding her privacy, talking in whispers and nodding knowingly. Mazaki had come out a few minutes later, her eyes and nose red and runny and a weak smile on her lips. The group had noticed him then and with eyes narrowed, he'd watched them march her off to the cafeteria without a backward glance.
"Well, what do you want?" she'd pleasantly asked him again. His final chance at remaining dignified had crumbled under the pressure of those blue, blue eyes. Of course, the words hadn't come out exactly as he'd rehearsed or even intended. The traditional Kaiba coldness had taken over at his hesitation to act.
"Mazaki, one week from tomorrow, you will accompany me to Siegfried von Schroeder's Grand Spring Ball. Proper attire and monetary compensation will be given to you for your troubles. My limo will arrive for you at 6 p.m. sharp. Don't be late."
The ice in his voice had surprised even him as he watched the sunny smile melt from her lips and an angry edge claim her normally bewitching blue eyes at his pronouncement.
And that was how the whole, sorry situation had started. That was why he was standing there, ten minutes after Mazaki had stormed off in an angry huff, still listening to her words as they played over and over like the proverbial broken record in every single corner of his mind. Everything she'd said had been true.
Turning around on his heel, he hefted his briefcase in his right hand and left the scene of his utter humiliation. If anyone had seen his face right then, they never would have suspected that he'd suffered a more crushing defeat than losing his duelling title to Yugi Motou.
Yugi poked his head around the corner and saw that the coast was clear. Kaiba had finally stormed off from his post in the school and headed off to his office. If only he'd been able to see Kaiba's face when Anzu had told him to drop dead. It would have been absolutely priceless. Not that he was enjoying Kaiba's suffering or anything.
"Well, what do you think, Pharaoh? Should we go and offer Kaiba our 'services'?" Yugi glanced over at the form that floated comfortably next to him. The smirk on the Spirit's face gave him his answer.
"Let us proceed to Kaiba's office with haste. Such an opportunity will not arise again for us to get what we desire."
With a spring in his step, Yugi made for the front doors of Domino High, intent on the prey that was just now getting into a limo before proceeding to his 'safe' office.
Well, here it is. The beginning of a new story. Please let me know if I should continue on with this story or if you think I could do anything to improve it so far.
Just a word of warning – the next chapter won't be up for a while, at least a month or two so don't get your hopes up! ;)
Thanks for everything!